HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Two Pennsylvania watchdog groups say that natural gas drilling interests have funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Pennsylvania politicians — mostly to Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett.

The joint report, called “Marcellus Money” — a project of political watchdog group Common Cause of Pennsylvania and environmental activist group Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania — reports that through mid-September, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett (in file photo above) had received more than $700,000 from the natural gas drilling industry compared to less than $120,000 to Democratic opponent Dan Onorato.

Barry Kauffman is executive director of Common Cause of Pennsylvania:

“The key purpose of the study was to demonstrate the power of money in politics. And we have seen over the past year or two the gas industry expend enormous amounts of money on campaign contributions.  And they have largely gotten their way with the Pennsylvania legislature.”

As lawmakers continue to battle over a proposed tax on the natural gas drilling industry, Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati -– the top Republican in the state senate –- has been another major beneficiary of industry dollars.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo.
File photo

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